A reader writes:
Has Ryan Avent lived in a cave for the last three years? Obama is the most non-xenophobic president in recent memory, in action and word. Promoting America the way he did at the SOTU is as American as apple pie, and should be considered in context of Obama's entire term thus far. What should an American president say, "our workers are almost as good as everyone around the world"? "America will win every now and then"? For someone who correctly slams Mitt for his lies about the Obama "apology tour", you missed an opportunity to expose the untruth of the other side of that coin – Obama is too pro-America!
While I agree politicians are way too xenophobic with their American Exceptionalism, I would remind Mr. Avent that speeches are designed to speak to a specific audience. When Obama was in the Middle East he was extolling America's greatness in the frame of a friendly nation, but when he is speaking at the SOTU he is speaking to Americans.